On Iowa 2012 (Scenarios)
Back when I hosted my own amateur political website, I would offer my own prediction for every major election. While I likely will not be able to hold back from doing that by 7:00pm tonight, it seems more important to offer up what happens in the likelihood of certain scenarios; because as Huffington Post says “It’s Actually Totally Okay” to have no idea what will happen tonight, there is a 98% chance of one of 6 scenarios happening.
Romney, Paul, Santorum
Romney, Santorum, Paul
The order of finish after Romney is irrelevant. The nomination is over. Mitt will walk away with New Hampshire and then it will be entirely academic. Will someone stay in just to show the country how much the GOP doesn’t like Mitt Romney, circa. Democrats 2008. Romney was the inevitable nominee in 2009. He was the inevitable nominee in 2010. He was the unlikable candidate in 2011. If he wins a state he never contested and then routs in New Hampshire, it’s over.
Santorum, Romney, Paul
Santorum admits that his campaign has a feeble amount of cash to run a real national organizing effort. If Romney finishes within a length or two of Santorum, this is as good as a win for Romney.
Santorum, Paul, Romney
Paul, Santorum, Romney
In this scenario, I see less than 3% separating all three candidates. If the historic line of “it was a 3-way tie for third place” means anything (when the splits were 17%, 15%, and 13%), than it counts at the top as well. I will be hard pressed to say that Romney failed with a 3rd-place finish when two months ago he was expected to be 4th or even 5th, but he has been trending and the frontrunner never gains momentum from barely meeting expectations. All Santorum has to do now is raise $100 million dollars, and all Paul has to do is not act like a crazy man.
Paul, Romney, Santorum
While a Santorum win is not sustainable or a serious contention for the nomination, it would at least cause a possible ripple that could spoil it for Romney – if Newt could right the ship again, if Perry could stop bumbling, if…
If Paul wins and Santorum falls in 3rd, it becomes a serious two-horse nomination fight between the old dogs: Electability vs. Purity. It might not be that easy though. What if both Santorum and Bachmann bow out? Where do there voters go in other states; it’s at least 25% of the GOP vote right now. If they crystallize around one candidate, then Romney could be in trouble.
These are the scenarios. Any guesses?